Day At The Track

Two year old Artsplace colt repaying faith

05:56 AM 05 Apr 2010 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

The PGG Wrightson Ready To Run Sale has continued to be a happy hunting ground for harness racing trainer Lew Driver. Failures have been few and far between for the West Melton horseman, with his latest acquisition destined to follow in the footsteps of previous successes Presido and Fleet Magic.

Saturday night's meeting at Addington Raceway saw Amazing Art win his second race in just five appearances, when beating a handy lineup in heat three of the Sires Stakes Series for two year olds.

Driver was impressed by the athletic son of Artsplace from the first time he lay eyes on him. "He impressed me on trial day, he's got such a lovely fluent gait. But I didn't want to make the same mistake I did a couple of years when I really liked one of Michael's (House)." Driver is referring to the ill-fated Fiery Falcon who went on to win the Northern Derby as well as the Harness Jewels, amassing in excess of $500,000 in stake earnings. "When I trialed him I told Michael he was the nicest horse I'd sat behind since Gaelic Skipper, he felt abit special."

With plenty of interest in the Mach Three colt following a 55.2 half on trial day, Fiery Falcon was hot property on sale day, eventually being purchased by clients of Michael House for $200,000. A pretty sound investment in hindsight. "I had plenty of bullets to fire, but when it reached 200k I had to let him go," said Driver who came away much wiser for the experience, ruing the missed opportunity and vowing to do things differently in the future. "This time I didn't trial Amazing Art. "Naturally I had to inspect him but I got Robyn McLeish to bid on him."

The Artsplace colt was eventually knocked down to McLeish on behalf of Driver for $170,000. After enjoying some stunning success as a trainer from 2005-2007, Driver has operated in a more subdued capacity over the last few seasons, but is now looking to rebuild and regather his form of old. "I spent a fair amount time over the past few years as a caregiver to my late wife, it was a very tough time."

With solid support Driver is now concentrating his efforts to rebuilding a quality raceteam, with Amazing Art ensuing to become a cornerstone to the direct future. "He really is an absolute pleasure to train. There's three of us working the horses and everyone wants to drive him. He's such a nice horse to sit behind at speed." Bad draws and bad luck had kept Amazing Art out of the money in previous couple of starts, but things went to plan on Saturday night.

The athletic colt showed plenty of gas from a wide alley to find the front early, before handing up to Red Ransom. The move makers came with common regularity, but it was Robbie Holmes and Amazing Art sitting patiently in the trail who were to have the last say. With the passing lane presenting itself, Holmes drove the son of Artsplace through along the markers to find the front by the 200. The Muskeg Express in a display of bravery, found the front briefly before being challenged by Northerner Gold Ace.

But both were to find the deeds of their over-exertion to much, with Amazing Art holding them at bay to win by a head from the Muskeg Express and Gold Ace in a tight finish. The 1950m mobile was run in a fast 1.57.6 milerate, with the leaders running home in 58.3 and 28.4. Amazing Art has now gained his ticket to the Sires Stakes final and with it the probability of a start in the PGG Wrightson Sales Series Race.

According to Driver he has come through his run with flying colours. "I gave him Sunday off and when I put him in the paddock he took off kicking and bucking. So I don't think it's taken much out of him," said Driver who registered his 231st training success with his latest win.

Steve Dolan

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: